Vodka & Hamburgers

Chorizo Burger

Today I’m writing from a coffee shop, and my laptop screen looks like one of those “before” and “after” ads for outdoor Windex. The other night I went to a media party for Venik, the new vodka bar in South Lake Union, and the power of suggestion forced my husband to pour himself a vodka martini after he’d spent the evening sanding an entire side of the house. (Painting starts tomorrow.) We’re still not sure sure what power knocked said martini over onto our old shared iBook, where he’d been checking his email, but in the few seconds it took Tito to grab some cleaning materials, the vodka had dripped down one side of the screen and seeped into part of the keyboard. Everything’s clean, but the lower left quadrant of the screen seems to have suffered some permanent damage. At first that was all I noticed, but today, the quertyasd keys are really, really sticky, so I sort of have to pound away with the left hand to get anything onto the page.

Myb I’ll ju yp nomlly n if you cn follo. (That’s maybe I’ll just type normally and see if you can follow, but I’ll guess not.)

Anyway. (Pound.) Today’s topic is hamburgers. (Pound, pound.) I’ve been doing some research on grass-fed burgers for a little piece on the very best of their class, and it inspired me to reach into my own frozen stores of grass-fed beef, from Skagit River Ranch. Sitting there on top of the beef was a package of chorizo, and I though, well, why not? Chorizo is frequently just to rich for me to eat plain, and hamburgers are sometimes a little boring. So I mixed them, stripping the casings off the chorizo, mashing it up, and adding it to the beef. I made big, fat burger patties, grilled them up, and piled them with Estrella’s Gaupier cheese and a sweet slather made with fresh figs and baby tomatoes that was just the right contrast for the spicy meat. If you’ve never tried an egg bun (or a bun made with something like challah), give it a whirl. I found great egg buns in the bread section of my neighborhood grocery store.

I’ll have to excuse myself. (Pound, pound.) My left hand is getting tired, and I think I should save it for the weekend.

Topless Chorizo Burger

Chorizo Burgers with Gaupier and Tomato-Fig Sauce (PDF)
Recipe 243 of 365

Made with a combination of lean, high-quality beef, spicy chorizo sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, Dijon, and Worcestershire sauce, these burgers are uber juicy and really the right size for a bun. If you don’t have access to Gaupier, the dense, flavorful cow’s milk cheese from Estrella Family Creamery with an ash line down the center, just use your favorite strong cheese – with the jam, something like a blue or a good, sharp cheddar will be best.

Use leftover sauce on sandwiches, or as a dip for homemade French fries or breakfast potatoes.

TIME: 30 minutes active time
MAKES: 4 big burgers

For the sauce:
2 cups baby red or yellow tomatoes (I used Sungolds), tops removed
8 small figs, stems removed
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the burgers:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound chorizo sausage (2 large sausages), casings removed, meat chopped
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices Gaupier cheese, or similar strong cheese
4 hamburger buns, buttered and grilled
Miscellaneous burger accessories: tomato, avocado, lettuce, pickles, etc.

First, start the sauce: Place the tomatoes and figs in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times, or until roughly chopped. Transfer to a small saucepan, add the ketchup and soy, season with salt and pepper, stir, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring only occasionally, or until thick.

Tomato-Fig Sauce

Preheat your grill on medium heat, or prepare a moderate charcoal fire.

Mix the beef, chorizo, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in a big bowl until very well combined. (I use my hands, but a serving fork works well, too.) Divide the meat into four equal sections, and form each section into a large, roughly 3/4″ thick patty. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Grill burgers to desired doneness, adding the cheese to the burger just before taking off the grill. (The cheese is best only very slightly melted.) Slather the sauce on toasted buns, top with chorizo burgers and any desired accessories, and serve immediately.

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Filed under Beef, farmer's market, recipe

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